Just days after buying one of the most expensive residences in London, billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin has set a U.S. record with the purchase of a $238 million Manhattan penthouse. The 24,000 square-foot residence at 220 Central Park South is officially the most expensive home ever sold in U.S. history.
Griffin is showing the world how a billionaire house collector goes on a shopping spree. He also owns a $58.75 million condo in Chicago; a $60 million penthouse at Faena House in Miami, $250 million worth of land to build a Palm Beach compound and a $122 million London mansion.
"He's definitely a global trophy hunter and he bought what would arguably be now the number one building in New York," said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty Inc.
The purchase breaks the previous U.S. sale record, when investor Barry Rosenstein paid $137 million for an East Hampton estate in 2014. Manhattan's most recent record sale was a $100 million condo at 157 West 57th Street, purchased by Michael Dell in 2015. The priciest residential deal to date is a $361 million home in Hong Kong in 2017.
The penthouse at 220 Central Park South takes up four floors - from the 50th to 53rd floor of the building. With 16 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, five balconies and a Central Park facing terrace, the residence was created by combining an 11,000 square-foot duplex on the 50th and 51st floors, and three relatively smaller apartments on the 52nd and 53rd floors.
220 Central Park South was built by Vornado Realty Trust, which said in October that it was approaching 85 percent sold, with 26 full-floor units in contract. The Robert A.m. Stern-designed tower faces the southern entrance to Central Park, with most units offering unobstructed park views.
Setting itself apart from a full exterior of glass panels or concrete, 220 Central Park South embodies a mix of ornate and detailed windows and a decorated limestone crown. "The Villas" along 59th Street will contain 10 units spread among 17 floors, and will start at $40 million. The units come with their own private balconies facing Central Park, and the building will have its own entrance through the motor courtyard and 59th Street.
The main lobby will be accessed through revolving doors on the eastern side of the main building's footprint. An elliptical-shaped staircase will greet residents when they enter the tall space. There will also be a private residential library to the right of the main doors, along with an interior hallway connecting to The Villas on the north side of the project site.
Underneath the building will be parking space for up to 64 vehicles, costing $750,000 per space.
In addition to his work managing investment firm Citadel, Ken Griffin is also an active philanthropist, who's given more than $600 million to educational and cultural causes, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Harvard University.